He’s removed the change table and applied for an evening liquor licence, but the new owner of this popular family café in Brunswick says the “kid crowd” is still welcome.
Matthew Payne took over what was The Green Tambourine in December. “We want Jellystone Café to be more than purely a ‘parents’ café’ and to attract a diverse crowd of people who come here for the coffee and the food,” he says.
The menu is in the capable hands of Arake Gordon, who worked with Payne at Atomica Café in Fitzroy, and the coffee is Atomica’s too.
At this stage, there are two grinders – one for decaf and one for the house blend – but Payne plans to sell beans and will offer the occasional single-origin coffee.
My espresso and three-quarter flat white were made by personable barista Peter Caddy.
The espresso was nicely extracted with sweet, juicy vine-fruit notes, a blast of cocoa and a short, sharp acidity. The dark, bittersweet flat white arrived with scallop-shaped waves etched into its gossamer milk.
The café was named because it’s in a quaint heritage-listed bluestone cottage surrounded by Warr Park and, well, because the bear is Payne’s “power animal”. There’s a rumour there might be a “Yogi” beer on tap soon.
Matthew Payne spent 10 years working at one of Melbourne’s finest coffee houses as its head barista and café manager but is still flying the flag for the brand. “Atomica dark roast is my favourite coffee and I always said that I would never think twice about using another coffee if I opened my own place.”
Payne trained in New Zealand, at a café called Brazil in Auckland, but it was at Atomica that he refined his skills, and he’s stayed true to his classic espresso training. “I’m a coffee-and-milk guy,” he says. “I think it is a hot, caffeinated beverage that should be drunk and enjoyed with friends. I’m not into the whole coffee and science thing that’s going on these days.”
Jellystone Café, 179 Albion Street, Brunswick
Phone \ 9386 7750
Barista \ Matthew Payne
Coffee \ Atomica
Barista’s choice \ Three-quarter flat white
Open \ Monday to Friday 7am-4pm; Saturday, Sunday 8.30am-4pm
Some say the bluestone-fronted building was built for the Pentridge Prison warden, but now its front yard contains an ever-changing crowd. The cottage, with several cosy rooms and a large rear courtyard, is ready for a makeover, according to its new owners. Hopefully, features such as leadlight windows, exposed bricks and an open fireplace will stay, but for now, fresh flowers, a large mirror and cheerful paper lanterns brighten the dark interior. Broad pale-ash tables hold large groups and singles alike. Service is swift and pleasant, and little ones are clearly tempted by the iced cupcakes at the homely barista station and front counter.